Damien Knight is proud, aloof, and tormented by memories of war. Though living in seclusion, he is named guardian to a fellow officer’s ward. Instead of the young homeless waif he was expecting, however, Miranda FitzHubert is a stunning, passionate beauty who invades his sanctuary and forces him back into society. Struggling to maintain honor and self-control, Damien now faces an ever greater threat: desire.
A bold, free spirit, Miranda has witnessed the darkest depths of Damien’s soul–and has seen his desperate need for love. But before she can thaw his unyielding heart, she must endure a terrifying nightmare of her own. . . .
With Napoleon still imprisoned but his threat of war still lingering, Damien Knight returns home a celebrated war hero but no one knows the demons he faces with his fight against the darkness and cruelty of war that lingers inside him. He isolates himself on the estate he’s inherited along with the honorary title as a courtesy to his late father and tries to adjust to the “normal” life. But then word comes that one of his fellow officers is murdered and he has become the guardian of said officer’s ward. Little does he know what monumental changes this will bring in his life.
Miranda is the quintessential abandoned illegitimate child who has had no one to care for her or protect her. She has learned to take care of herself and has the utter conviction that she will make something of her life regardless what cruelty is thrown at her. She doesn’t need a guardian who will only see her as a burden. But she didn’t count on the warm and welcoming Knight family and neither did she expect that it would be Damien Knight, the tormented, battered warrior, who would melt her into opening her heart for him.
Damien is a complicated and intricate character. War has him on the verge of a mental breakdown with a kind of post-war trauma. This causes him to retreat both physically to his remote estate, as well as emotionally from his siblings and friends. He doesn’t want to appear in Society until he’s cured of these torments that can be triggered by the slightest things, such as fireworks or champagne corks popping.
Miranda is vivid, sparkling, defiant and vibrant despite her suffering at the School for Girls she grew up in after her parents’ deaths. She has the ability to bounce back from anything and takes every adversity in stride, turning every bad thing into something positive.
With Miranda Damien is torn between his duty and honor and his promise to his fellow officer and his desire to have Miranda all to himself. She is a breath of fresh air and color in his darkened life. Despite his feelings for her and hers for him, he keeps pushing her away for her own protection. He doesn’t want to taint her with the demons that haunt him. But Miranda wants none of this and persists in offering him her love and care to try and help him overcome his trauma.
Again the secondary characters form important supporting roles for Damien and Miranda and in the process some elaborate glances are given of some of the heroes and heroines of the previous books. It was nice to see how their lives have progressed since their own stories. Lucien, being Damien’s twin plays an important role in assisting Miranda in her quest for Damien’s heart but Bel and Alice also have their parts in introducing and escorting Miranda in the Ton’s society.
The fact that the book starts with an important secondary character to the plot and this first chapter had me enthralled right way, says enough for how Gaelen Foley’s characters have the ability to captivate and fascinate. The plot next to the romance is one where the reader is in the loop, knowing exactly who and why but the outcome and conclusion of it is the thing that makes it stand out and enrich the romance.
Gaelen Foley just keeps on writing these wonderful books in this series! This was another one that blew me away! I knew Damien was more than I suspected in LORD OF FIRE but this totally surpassed my expectations.
The story and feel of this book are very different from LORD OF FIRE, which is logical because Lucien and Damian are two totally different personalities and so are their heroines. This book was darker, more tormented but again it all utterly mesmerized me; the characters, the plot, the romance and Gaelen Foley’s writing. It’s outstandingly good.
Mixing historical facts with intense emotions her writing sparkles and sizzles, touching the wide range of emotions that are present in everyone’s lives no matter what time period or what class they are from. But Gaelen Foley also manages to write books in a series that each have their own touch and feel but are still connected through the characters. She does this in way that is really amazing. I’ve read series where the basics of course are the same but the books are so similar in build up and plot that they become interchangeable. This is absolutely not the case with this series.
Every book is unique, every hero has his own issues to deal with and every heroine also has hers. Every plot, every couple and every romance has it’s own uniqueness and that’s what makes this series an excellent one and has me singing it’s praises. Now if I only had the time to read all the remaining books in this series right away, one after the other…But alas, I will have to take them slow in between other books because unfortunately I don’t have that luxury.